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Manhwa Monday: Scanlation wars reach manhwa?

Welcome to another Manhwa Monday! This week, a fannish battle that has been raging in the manga blogosphere for ages may be ready to brew amongst manhwa fans, thanks to fan frustration and some unpleasant statistics.

First, from the fannish side, manhwa summarizer Comic Seoul has had enough of readers requesting links to scanlations. It’s a worthy rant, pointing out that even the detailed summaries posted there violate copyright law.

And from the industry side, later in the week, JoongAng Daily (the English-language version of Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo) published this article by Sung So-young, naming illegal downloads as a major culprit in the decline of manhwa sales in South Korea while film and television based on manhwa properties thrive.

The article also discusses the improbability of making a living as a manhwa artist, quoting Yang Jae-hyun, author of the popular series The Ruler of the Land (briefly licensed by now-defunct ADV Manga), “I have about three comic books published a year and each volume sells about 4,000 copies. But I earn about 2 million won [$1,818] per month.”

I’ve already had my say about scanlations, so I won’t bore you all with more, except perhaps to point out that in my daily Google alerts for the term “manhwa,” at least 90% of the links included (often more) each day lead to discussions/reviews of scanlated manhwa, including numerous series that are currently licensed by English-language publishers like Yen Press and NETCOMICS. 90%.

Reviews are sparse this week, probably partially due to recent blogger focus on DC Comics’ shutdown of manga imprint, CMX. Still Tiamat’s Disciple found a moment to review volume two of One Fine Day (Yen Press) and Zoey at Manga Jouhou took a look at volume one of Sarasah (Yen Press).

That’s all for this week!

Is there something I’ve missed? Leave your manhwa-related links in comments!

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